Tag: Goodman League

goodman John Wall

John Wall, Gilbert Arenas headline Goodman League Classic


Last summer was the “Summer of the Pro/Am” with locked out players taking park in games at the Drew League in L.A., the Goodman League in D.C. and Rucker Park in N.Y. in record numbers.

This year, not going to be as much of that. But some stars are still doing events, and that includes maybe the most traveled player last summer, John Wall — he and Gilbert Arenas are headlining the Goodman League Classic, the Washington Post’s Sports Bog tells us.

Kevin Durant, an old-time Goodman League guy, may play but it depends on how he is feeling after the Olympics.

Also on the court for sure will be Brezzy (Chris Brown), Josh Selby, Shelvin Mack, Ty Lawson and whoever else shows up. You know these things are “flexible.”

It’s Aug. 19 if you are in the D.C. area. There are concerts and a couple games.

Players, word of advice: With Gilbert Arenas there, check your shoes before putting them on. Just sayin’. And with Chris Brown there, don’t expect Tony Parker to show.

John Wall admits he played too many charity games last summer

John Wall

John Wall seemed to be everywhere last summer (him and Kevin Durant). As summer rec leagues and charity games grew is stature during the lockout — players were not at Summer League, were not working out at team facilities, so they were finding games — Wall crisscrossed the country seeming to show up at everything from Goodman League events to Vegas work out sessions.

And he looked spectacular — in games with spotty defense and a free-flowing style his speed and athleticism stood out. But when the more defined and focused NBA games returned, Wall could not translate those skills and take the step forward some of us expected in his sophomore campaign.

As he looks back on it, he might have handled it differently, something he said to reporters Monday night (after the Wizards beat the Bulls) and picked up by Mike Prada of Bullets Forever.

Q: Did you feel like you were at a disadvantage this year? Nobody had a summer, nobody had much of a training camp, but for a younger player, that would seem to be pretty important.

A: No … I didn’t think I had a disadvantage. I just think that, instead of working out more, I did more of playing in charity events and summer leagues, when I should have been working out more. That’s the only thing I think I should have done differently, but it was a great experience going to different states and venues.

Wall is putting up similar numbers this year compared to his rookie effort (for example 16.5 points per game last year, 16.4 this year) but he is doing it a little more efficiently has he has cut back on the three pointers he doesn’t hit. However, he has not a big step forward. The bigger issue is that his outside shot — which looked fluid when left wide open in summer leagues — is still wildly inaccurate. He is shooting 32 percent from 10-15 feet, 30 percent from 16 feet out to the arc, and 7.9 percent from three this season. He can attack and get to the rim in transition, but teams will just go under the pick and force him to shoot jumpers in the half court until he can prove he can knock those down.

Part of the problem in evaluating Wall is it’s hard to tell how good he would be on a reasonable NBA team. Deron Williams feels bad for Wall. Wall had erratic big men and team that rarely brought consistent effort for his entire career, what happens if he is on a team where he gets real help? I wonder what would have happened if, like Rajon Rondo, he was dropped into a team loaded with veterans who demanded accountability and responsibility, rather than the Wizards?

Wall has to lead the changes he wants to see in the Wizards. He is the star. Which means next summer a lot of time in the gym with a shooting coach and less time on the charity circuit. Time to grow up.

Flip Saunders thinks John Wall played too many summer games

Flip Saunders John Wall

The counterbalance to the suits and greed of the NBA lockout this past summer was the rise of the rec league games. The Goodman League. The Drew League. Rucker Park. More than ever NBA players were rolling into these leagues and playing, and soon the leagues were playing each other like the epic Goodman vs. Drew matchups. Then that evolved into countless charity games.

All entertaining if not exactly well played basketball.

But Flip Saunders watched his team get off to a slow start — they picked up their first win Tuesday — and wondered if all those summer games that John Wall, JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche, Nick Young and others played in hurt the team. Here is what he told CSNWashington.com.

“I’ve never been a proponent of all those things,” Saunders said after Monday’s practice. “I think you pick up too many bad habits and a lot of things you think are going to be very easy [are not]. I don’t think I saw a change all summer long.”

Those summer games feature very little defense — there is almost no team defensive play. With guys like Wall or Young, nobody can guard them one-on-one and so in settings like that they can get their shot and score almost at will.

The NBA is different — selfish play will cost you games. It cost the Wizards as for the first eight games there were pick-and-rolls and isolations on the strong side but no weakside movement to free or shooters or freeze defenders. Finally that changed Tuesday.

It’s too simplistic to say the rec league games led to the bad Wizards start. There are a whole lot of problems in Washington that have nothing to do with the Goodman League games. But the games followed by a condensed training camp may not have helped, either.

Video: Kevin Durant, John Wall show at Drew/Goodman rematch

Kevin Durant, Jeff Green
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John Wall and Kevin Durant put on a show at the Pyramid at Long Beach State Sunday night. The Drew League got its revenge, winning 151-144… but really, not to many people cared about that. They came to see NBA stars do their thing.

Here are the top 10 plays from the night, and frankly I can think of a few more not on this highlight package. I had a few thoughts on the night, but really it was about having fun and this was the fun stuff.

Credit to BallisLife for the video.

Drew League gets another shot at Goodman League Sunday

Goodman Drew Harden Durant
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In a sure sign that the lockout continues to drag on, the charity game/pro-am circuit is going strong this weekend on both coasts.

Saturday night in Miami pretty much all of the NBA stars in the Nike galaxy will play in a LeBron vs. Wade charity game at Florida International University.

But the game that will have more passion and pride behind it is Sunday night on the other coast.

In Long Beach — the funky city pinned between Los Angeles and Orange County, where the NBA Summer League was hosted for years (and where your humber author lives) — the L.A. based Drew League will get its rematch against the Washington D.C. based Goodman League.

These two played earlier this summer in a one-point win in D.C. for Goodman, one where Drew League players didn’t know you couldn’t foul out and felt they got some bad calls at the end. They wanted a rematch right away.

Now they have it.

Scheduled to suit up for Goodman are Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, John Wall, Michael Beasley and DeMarcus Cousins. For Drew it’s James Harden, DeMar DeRozan, Nick young, and Brandon Jennings. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

This has been the summer of the pro-am games — NBA players have always stepped in for a few games here and there in these leagues. But this summer, locked out of their team facilities, NBA guys have showed up in larger numbers. It’s created a real grass-roots buzz. It’s been fun to watch, in part because offense dominates defense in these games that are more pickup than structure.

Both games this weekend should be entertaining. Of course, what should be happening Sunday is the first of the NBA’s official preseason games (that’s when they were scheduled). All the guys in this game should be in training camps instead. We should be gearing up for real NBA basketball.

We’re not. So we have Drew vs. Goodman rematch. Which promises to be a little ray of warm sunshine through the clouds of the lockout.